Men’s Sheds are quickly popping up all around Australia, with one likely to be found close to you. Sheds are also appearing in regional areas, importantly reaching those who are remote and isolated. The Sheds are highly popular and much loved, making them an important part of the Australian culture and community.
The Australian Men’s Shed Association was founded in 2007 and since then there are now over 1000 established Men Shed’s in Australia. Given the success of Australian Men’s Sheds, the Shed movement is spreading internationally.
WHAT IS A MEN’S SHED?
Men’s Sheds are non-profit community based organisations that are accessible to all men. The Sheds function to provide a safe, welcoming and encouraging space for men to work on their projects, learn new skills and develop valuable friendships. According to the Australian Men’s Shed Association, “Members and volunteers from almost every shed participate in grassroots projects, events and programs for the benefit of communities.” The strengthening of local communities is a vital role of Men’s Sheds with many sheds around the country offering support for local community groups and non-profit organisation’s by building equipment and various helpful items. Perhaps the most significant aspect of Men’s Sheds is the benefits they provide to members.
BENEFITS OF JOINING A MEN’S SHED
Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life but most comprise of retired men although, there has been a recent increase in the membership of younger men. For many, joining a Shed follows a significant life change e.g. retirement, health changes or changed family circumstances to name a few.
Many men are less healthy than women and suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression. In response to this, the Sheds strive to build a culture where all men are welcomed and where mutual respect and trust are paramount.
Men’s Sheds provide an opportunity for men to improve their wellbeing through building friendships, meaningful work, giving back to their community, learning new skills and keeping physically and mentally active. Sheds offer a huge amount of support and friendship and a safe environment to talk over a cuppa. The types of activities differ from Shed to Shed, but activities generally include woodwork or metalwork, gardening or community projects.
Health is also a big focus of the Sheds, with Sheds providing an additional link between the primary health network and the many men who have lost contact with such networks. The health benefits of joining a Shed are clear, with improved mental wellbeing, socialisation and mateship.
MEN’S SHEDS AND WOODTURNING
Men’s Sheds that offer woodturning activities are great for enhancing your skills as well as learning new skills. The best way to lean anything is often to have someone to learn from. By joining the shed you can seek solutions for your project issues, get inspired by finding new project ideas, become familiar with machinery and tools, and put your skills to use for the benefit of your community. You will also be working alongside other passionate men to share skills and talk all things woodturning.
Interested in joining a Men’s Shed? Visit https://mensshed.org/find-a-shed/ to find your local Men’s Shed.